Nyasha Chikowore

Mental Health Clinician
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In the spring of 2014, I chopped my relaxed ends off and began my natural hair journey...again. I mean we're all born with natural hair right? Box relaxers had broken my hair and I didn't know what else to do with it. Chopping it off was the next step and unlike other ladies, I didn't think it was a big deal. Since YouTube didn't exist, all I had to rely on for inspiration were online, natural hair forums. I wore a hat the first few weeks of being natural because I thought I looked like a boy. I still loved it though. My hair was soft again, it felt healthy, and it required a lot of patience. It also changed the way people looked at me. The reactions varied, men saw me as the Jill Scott / Lauryn Hill / Erykah Badu 'sista’ and women had questions. I've been labeled a vegetarian and I've been asked if I went natural to rediscover my roots. Along with the always fun question, "What are you going to do with your hair?” I've been instructed by strangers to just straighten my hair again. Like I said, I didn't think it was that deep, but to others it was an indication that I cared about my heritage, my health, and in some instances that I was going against the grain. Although I take breaks (read: kinky twists or crochet braids), I wouldn't change a thing about it.